Keep pushing the same button to win is a weak gameplay
There is nothing to do in the game but taking turn, how unfunny. That's why drifting and snaking is great, you have something to do! I barely play racing game because they are boring car porn, I don't find car sexy enough to masturbate like a GT5 fan.
However I'm working on a Racing game right now, I have reviewed the strategy of many racing game. Aside from aspiration there isn't much gameplay and enjoyment mostly came from turn, setting overwhelming parameters and car porn. Actually general strategy tips are two lines deep (take corner close + occasionally crash to skip portion of circuit). Game like mario kart or F zero have multiple pages dedicate to only one trick.
Game like F zero and mario kart became insanely popular because of the frame based input system where you have something to do while driving, and there is fierce competition still going for even the oldest to cram some more ms (especially the most complex of them: MK Snes and his fame pixel precision).
Burnout also introduce adrenaline gauge with circulation and risk taking to gain boost. F zero X also have the neat risk/reward damage vs boost gauge and truly dangerous track that exploit 3D in new way (there is a "vertical inertia" gameplay).
But I understand the purity of the "Silly looking" argument, game are also role play, it does not matter if the game is fun and deep if there is a fucking Pikachu
in my game, I do not empathize but i understand (smash bros suffer the same).
Fortunately I was able to find a niche of straight line racer like http://mmohut.com/review/nitto-1320-legends
where there is enough data to build straight line gameplay. Now I don't have to design a game where nothing happen except having the best car or the best setting, I can have skill in every moment of play. No silly role breaking trick, straight racing gameplay!
Unfortunately My team did not back up the move, they are the programmers and this is their first game, I had to go KISS, we don't even have multiplayer and AI, fortunately we have ghost and I had to base all my gameplay on that.